Here are two letters raising concerns over the BIE Reform efforts. The first is a letter from the Association of Community Tribal Schools, Inc., and the Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium. An excerpt:
The tribal school officials participating in the Denver meeting agreed that the July 11,
2014, findings and recommendations of the American Indian Education Study Group must be revised to adopt a path for full implementation the following:
• The Administration’s BIE Reform Plan must chart a clear path toward the elimination of the BIE with respect to schools operating pursuant to the Indian Self-Determination Act or the Tribally Controlled Schools Act. Initially, the BIE should be downsized to only
focus on BIE operated schools. BIE should ultimately be abolished-transferring all of
BIE’s functions back to a BIE Office of Indian Education Programs BIE’s Office of
Performance and Accountability should be abolished.
The second is a letter from C. Bryant Rogers, who represents several tribes. An excerpt:
Our clients, however, remain concerned that the Administration’s Indian education
and BIE reform efforts continue to proceed on the assumption that the long-term
key to improving Indian education on reservations turns on things the federal
government can or should do to control the direction and implementation of school
programs that are authorized to be tribally-controlled rather than federallycontrolled.
Instead, our clients believe that federal acknowledgment of true tribal control of Indian schools and a return to focus on class room teachers, together with full funding for school operations and facilities, are the keys for improving Indian student performance in reservation schools. This means the tribally controlled schools should be left to determine their own performance assessment criteria and instructional methodologies and BIE should be abolished or barred from imposing anything in these areas on the tribally-controlled schools.
You can see the BIE Reform documents here, and an article on this issue we previously highlighted, here.
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